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Mt. Konocti Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Mount Konocti WinerySummary: Mt. Konocti Winery in Kelseyville, California is reusing a portion of a large, old fruit storage facility for winemaking and custom crush. Opening as a winery in 2004, the winery is continuing to expand its wine production.

Mt. Konocti Winery is located at the Mt. Konocti Growers large facility in Lake County. Today a portion of the fruit storage facility is used for winemaking, tasting area, event center and custom crush. Formally the facility was used for pear storage. An unusual wine they are producing is a sparkling pear wine.

Mount Konocti WineryUpon arriving at the winery, we saw a large painted quilt square on the side of the large storage building. The name for the quilt is Lady of the Lake. Mt. Konocti Growers is a member of the Lake County Quilt Trail. A little later in the winery tasting area, we discovered a wine named, “Lady of the Lake.”

Inside the building we easily found the tasting counter in an area of a large room that is also the barrel room. The tasting counter is just inside the door and has been sectioned off from the barrel room with old fruit boxes. Several tables and chairs are available to sit at while enjoying a glass of wine.

Mount Konocti Winery

History

It was in 1926 that a group of pear farmers formed the Lake County Fruit Exchange. The Mt. Konocti facility was built in the early 1950s for the cold storage of pears. In 1976 the name changed to Mt. Konocti Growers. In 2004 a portion of the facility was transformed into a custom crush winery that made wine for other people. In the last three years the Mt. Konocti winery produces wine under their own label. As they transitioned from the pear business to wine the first wine they produced was a sparkling pear wine.

Currently they are expanding their wine selection and case production. Today Mt. Konocti Winery also accommodates custom crush customers. They are always adding new clients.

The winery owns 80 acres of vineyards planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. At this time Robert Gayaldo, one of the owners, grows Tempranillo.

warehousesThe large warehouses provide plenty of space for winery production and barrel storage in temperature controlled environments. The tasting room and barrel room also have the perfect environment for storing antique automobiles.

Mt. Konocti Wines

Lady of the Lake, Lake County was a sparkling pear wine made in the traditional method. This yellow wine with 10% alcohol was a blend of Bartlett and Bosc pear varieties. The wine offered a pear aroma and taste. There were a lot of bubbles on the pour and then a slow release of small bubbles.

Sauvignon Blanc 2010 with 14.5% alcohol was dry. The wine offered fruit notes and was light/medium-bodied. The mouthfeel was smooth. The wine retails for $16. Rosé 2010 with 14.2% alcohol was produced with mostly Merlot and a bit of Zinfandel. The aroma was of spice and red fruit. The taste was slightly sweet. The wine retails for $14.

Mount Konocti WineryTempranillo 2009 was an opaque dark ruby with a sienna hue. The wine offered dark fruit notes, a hint of perfume, earthiness, spice and plum notes. The wine had medium tannins and was medium/full-bodied. The wine would pair well with food. Zinfandel 2009 Lake County was an opaque ruby color with a 14.8% alcohol. The wine offered notes of dark fruit and baking spices. The wine had bold tannins and was full-bodied with medium/high acidity. Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Lake County was an opaque dark ruby color with 16.5% alcohol. The wine offered notes of blackberries, cassis and baking spices. The wine had medium/bold tannins and was full-bodied. This is another good wine for enjoying with food.

Events at Mt. Konocti Winery are held in the large oak barrel area. Events are surrounded by the ambiance of many oak barrels. Private events suggested for the space include: wedding receptions, pre-nuptial dinners, family and corporate retreats/seminars, class reunions and more. Also watch for events hosted by the winery.

The Future

Mt. Konocti Winery may produce a pear cider in the fall of 2014. Plans also include expanding their sparkling wine production.
Robert noted, “It’s a challenge but it’s fun.”

When visiting Mt. Konocti Winery in Kelseyville, be sure to sample the sparkling pear wine.

Mt. Konocti Winery
2550 Big Valley Rd
Kelseyville California 95451

GPS: N38º 59.693’ W122º 51.863’

Article written September 2014


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